Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Winter Break!

Ahhhhh... winter break. A time to catch up on sleep, catch up with family, and (for many of us) spend way more time than we'd like doing homework (students) or lesson plans (teachers). Whatever the case may be for you, I hope you have a joyful winter break, and if you are celebrating anything, happy holidays!

Artist: Ed Wheeler, based on Monet

And my holiday gift to you is this fun collection in which artist Ed Wheeler placed Santa into famous works of art:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art 1 - Grid Self Portrait in Colored Pencil: Resources & Options

If you are in Art 1, and looking for the post with information about our Grid Self Portrait project, then you have come to the right place!

We began our unit by learning and practicing three different skill sets:

  • Colored pencil blending and shading (worksheet)
  • Using the grid method (your choice of worksheet)
  • Value mapping (your choice of sample photo sheet)

Make sure you have handed in all three of your pages (plus any extra credit practice) to Ms. Walker before you start working on your self portrait.

As you plan your project, take a look at some options and inspiration...

Create a portrait with traditional color and shading:

Artist: Mercedes Helnwein

If you want to learn to do realistic color blending for skin, I recommend you view some tutorials!

Video tutorial (specifically focuses on the nose, but shows use of pencils):

Photo/Text tutorial:

Intensify or change the colors:

This is a digital painting, but something similar could be done with colored pencils

Reduce the number of different values to "cartoonify" or posterize yourself:

Draw inspiration from the famous grid portrait artist Chuck Close...

Chuck Close in front of one of his self-portraits
(we will learn more about him soon)

Or use the grid as an element of your design in some other way...

"For Susie Bieber" as requested

There is also something neat called a "Calligram" which an artists write words in different sizes/spacing/colors to create different values (similar to spacing and pressure when cross hatching)... here is an example that I personally think needs to show a wider range of values, but it's set up well:

You really have a world of options for this project! 

For even more inspiration and resources, visit Ms. Walker's Pinterest board for this project here

Sunday, November 30, 2014

#colortheoryparty results

At the end of October, my Art III classes took part in an activity which I called "#ColorTheoryParty (#itsnotarealparty)" -- you can check out the original post with instructions for my students here.

We are now transitioning out of our Color Theory unit and into Post-Impressionism (impasto paintings are coming!), but I wanted to post some results from our activity.

Here is just a small handful of the pictures my students submitted:

Considering hosting a #ColorTheoryParty in your classroom? 
Some notes for teachers:

This activity will work best if your school has a BYODevice policy or makes allowances for use of mobile devices in the classroom for educational purposes. It's pretty much crucial that students be able to use their phones in order to get engaged.

Make sure you have at least one digital camera available for students who don't have a phone (or don't have it with them, have a dead battery, etc.). Some of my students borrowed their friends' phones to complete the activity, but just as many asked to use my personal camera instead (I don't know if we have a classroom camera).

Students REALLY enjoyed being able to use SnapChat to take their photos (although they had to email them to me... I don't Snap with my students!). SnapChat is ideal for this activity, because students were able to label their photos digitally, with no need to use a post-it note or remember to include each color scheme name in the email subject line. If they liked what they were learning and photographing enough to actually send it to their friends or their story, that seems like a bonus to me!

I initially listed 4 options for how students could submit their photos to me -- one was through social media by using the hashtag #colortheoryparty *if they had a public account, but all of my students chose to use my camera or email the photos directly to me. But do what works for you! I had also looked into an app called BlendIt ( which I think would work well, but nobody wanted to install a new app on their phones.

If you use this activity (or a variation), please let me know! I would love to see it in action other places!

-Ms. Walker

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Post-Impressionism (or Neo-Impressionism)

For our Post-Impressionism research today you will need to a read a brief article and view several paintings by the following 4 post-impressionist masters:

  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Paul Cezanne
  • Georges Seurat
  • Paul Gauguin

Reading Options:

A.  Read pages 371-373 in the ArtTalk textbook, then flip through some of the provided library books to see more paintings

B.  Read this article from Eyecon Art:

C.  Visit "Olga's Gallery" to read 1-2 paragraphs about each artist (and look at their paintings!) on separate web pages:
D.  Read the Metropolitain Museum of Art's timeline summary here

As you read and view, fill out the two-sided worksheet that Ms. Walker handed out. You can work with a partner. This worksheet will be collected and graded.

A Meat Lover's Masterpiece

Want to learn more?
If you are interested in learning more about specific paintings, check out this website, which has videos and short articles about several famous paintings by Post-Impressionist painters:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Name that Color Scheme!

UPDATE: I have made changes to the quiz -- it should be less confusing now.


Hello, class!

During our Color Theory and Post-Impressionism unit, you MUST complete the 2 activities in this post.

*You need to show Ms. Walker your results (and watch her write them down) or email a screenshot of your results to CWalker @ in order to receive credit.*


First, review your knowledge of Color Theory and Color Schemes using these digital flash cards:

 Color Theory Digital Flash Cards

Second, complete the "Name That Color Scheme" quiz at the link below:

You MAY work with a partner, as discussing the colors you see can help some people learn better!

Have fun!

-Ms. Walker

P.S. I found this while searching for "color schemes" in Google images... hahaha

"Your colors are so basic..."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!

I'm really just posting because I LOVE this image:

I don't know the original source; he's all over the internet.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Student Email Collection!

Hello, class!

I am creating email lists for each class so that in the future, I will be able to email you important reminders, links, etc.

Please fill out the following form:

Once everyone has completed the form, this blog post will be deleted (gasp!).


-Ms. Walker

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tattoo Art! (videos and symbol resources)

Hey, everyone!

Are you looking for the videos for our tattoo lesson?

Here is a playlist on YouTube:

Here are the individual links:

  1. What Makes Tattoos Permanent? - Claudia Aguirre (TedEd)
  2. The history of tattoos - Addison Anderson (TedEd)
  3. Strange Science: Tattoos

Pay extra-close attention during the 2nd video -- this is where you will get information about how tattoos were viewed in different cultures! It's on your quiz! (The video covers Victorian England, Sailors, Crusaders, Post-Holocaust Jews, Japanese Prisoners & the Yakuza Gang, and the Maori people. You need to be able to recall two different cultures.)

You can also investigate other cultures... like geek culture!

Here are some helpful links for finding out the meaning of common tattoo symbols:

And here is the source of the image I used above (giving the artist credit)

#ColorTheoryParty (#itsnotarealparty)

Hello, class!

Today's activity is designed to help you have fun while exploring new aspects of Color Theory!

You will need to take 2 photos, each that shows a different color scheme (2 color schemes, 1 photo each).

  The photos should each include two labels: 1) your name 2) the type of color scheme

How can you submit photos to me?

Option A: Email your photos directly to Ms. Walker by sending an email to: cwalker @ (remove the spaces)

Option B: Use one of Ms. Walker's (personal) cameras

Here are a few examples of photos to help you get started:

If you are struggling with the color schemes, here is an awesome widget that can help:

(Unfortunately, your phone might not support it)

In addition to the schemes on your worksheet, there is a color scheme called "split complements" - it's not featured in that widget, but the widget does include some more advanced triadic color schemes that will be options for your project.

I hope you have fun with this activity!
-Ms. Walker

P.S. The color theory worksheet is also being collected and graded!

Shading Forms with Art 1

After my students had mastered the concept of Value, demonstrated through the creation of 10-step value scales and 2.5-inch gradients, we moved on to using our new shading skills to create the illusion of form (3D).

When I created the Shading Forms concept/vocabulary worksheet, I used the following video tutorial:
“Simple Shadows” by Bob Davies

However, after finding the video tutorial “Shading Light and Form – Basics” by Proko, I felt it was more attention-grabbing, so our class watched the following video:

Some concepts from my worksheet were not covered in the Proko video, so I had to explain them myself (including Directional Shading and ambient light).

I will come back to this post and attach the shading forms vocab/concept sheet and the shading forms practice sheet once I get a chance.